Donald Trump is considering Hispanic businessman Luis Quiñonez to be his Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Quiñonez confirmed to Univision News after a meeting Tuesday at the Florida residence of the president-elect.
"I just finished a two-hour interview with him and his team and, yes, I confirm that I am under consideration," Quiñonez wrote to this reporter.
Currently, the Guatemalan American is a member of Donald Trump's Hispanic Advisory Council and is a member of his transition team. He is also president of MAQ Diversified, a Virginia-based company that provides health services to the government and the private sector. He travels between homes in Virginia and South Florida.
In 1990, the lawyer and MBA founded his own company, IQ Management. According to an official biography shared by the Republican party, in 1994 it was the sixth largest Hispanic-owned business, with more than 1,200 employees in 28 states.
Quiñonez was also president of the US and Central American Chamber of Commerce and is a co-founder of the Hispanic College Fund. Among other roles, he was an official observer of peace negotiations in El Salvador.
Himself a veteran of the armed forces, Quiñonez served during the Vietnam War as a pilot. He later served at the Pentagon and then at the U.S. Senate as department of the Navy liaison. He left his military career due to injuries while in combat.
"Luis is dedicated to helping disabled veterans and is very active on programs to prevent the troubling suicide rate and lower homelessness and drug addiction among veterans," according to his official biography.
If selected, Quiñonez would have to contend with the increase in veteran suicides and calls to privatize the federal institution charged with the healthcare and social benefits of military veterans and their families.
The posts of Secretary of Agriculture and Veterans Affairs are the last high level posts in Trump’s cabinet waiting to be filled.
The president-elect is expected to confirm these nominations "in the next two days," Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, said on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, it was revealed that Trump is considering Jovita Carranza, who would be the first Latina to join his team. She met with Trump Tuesday at his home in Palm Beach, Florida.
Jason Miller, the transition team spokesman, said Carranza is being considered for the post of U.S. Trade Representative.
Although the Trade Representative’s office is part of the executive branch, it is not a cabinet position.